NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Confederation (BCCEC) said yesterday that improving this nation’s ease of doing business is not a ‘discrete issue’ that can be assigned to a single committee or stakeholder group.
In a statement yesterday, the BCCEC underscored the process of improving The Bahamas’ service delivery model is ongoing and must continue to evolve to meet the expectations of the global marketplace.
The group furthered the country’s most recent decline highlights the need for an ongoing focus on increasing the efficiency of the infrastructure for doing business in The Bahamas and that the global standards continue to change.
“Whilst the World Bank’s report acknowledges the progress that has been made in certain of the 11 categories by which countries are assessed, including the protection of minority investors (where there was a significant positive improvement of 44 places) and starting a business (where there was a positive movement of 11 places), the overall downgrade reflects the sentiments expressed by certain BCCEC members that the increasing cost of doing business in The Bahamas must be matched by corresponding increases in productivity and efficiency,” the BCCEC said.
The Bahamas has seen a slight decline in its position on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 ranking, with this nation dropping one spot to the 119th position based on the report released last week.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index ranks 190 countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation and stronger protections of property rights.
Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and more friendly regulations for businesses.
The Bahamas is now ranked 119th out of 190 countries on the World Bank’s 2020 Ease of Doing Business Index with a Doing Business Score of 59. 9.
The Bahamas drops back to a ranking it received in the World Bank’s 2018 report.
The BCCEC said: “Making it easier to do business is not a discrete issue that can be assigned to a single committee or stakeholder group; it is a national issue that affects (and requires the assistance of) Government, businesses, civil society and individuals and must be an integral part of the short, medium and long term development plan for the country.
“The process of improving The Bahamas’ service delivery model is ongoing and must continue to evolve to meet the expectations of the global marketplace of which we are a part. Put another way, our competitor jurisdictions are continuing to improve which means that the benchmark by which we are judged both domestically and internationally also continues to rise.”
The BCCEC recommended that as a part of the preparation for the National Budget, every government agency be mandated to identify strategic and measurable goals for improving efficiency in their agency during each budget year.
The statement also called for the government to “work with all relevant stakeholders to continue the formulation and execution of legislative, policy and structural changes to positively transform the processes for doing business in The Bahamas, including; streamlining the approval process for starting all businesses in The Bahamas, moving toward a system of registered land to make it easier and quicker to transfer property in The Bahamas and complete the implementation of the credit bureau”.